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US Backs Missile Defense Cooperation With Russia

US President George W. Bush with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (RIA) May 15, 2006
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to defense-spending legislation calling for cooperation with Russia on missile defense. The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, which said cooperation between Russia and the U.S. on missile defense was in U.S. interests and should be tighter, was passed by majority vote Thursday, the Office of the Clerk said.

The document also called for studying innovative and nontraditional means of cooperation with Russia in the area, including the use of Russian target missiles to test specific equipment elements of the U.S. Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency to detect and track down missiles.

Lawmakers also proposed "the provision of early warning radar to the Missile Defense Agency by the use of Russian radar data."

The U.S. move comes in the wake of President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address to parliament on May 10, in which he said Russia's Armed Forces had to be able to react to multiple threats, ranging from a traditional enemy attack or pressure exerted by another country to an attack carried out by international terrorists.

He said current research in the country focused on the development of unique high-precision weapons and warheads "whose trajectory could not be predicted by a potential enemy," and that two strategic nuclear submarines would be commissioned this year.

Russia has criticized Washington's plans to deploy the missile shield in Europe, but has said it remains open to cooperation on the issue.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Kremlin Voices Concern At US Conventional Missile Plans
Moscow (AFP) May 15, 2006
The Kremlin voiced worry Thursday at reported US plans to mount non-nuclear warheads on intercontinental strategic missiles to strike targets anywhere in the world within minutes and with no prior warning and called for talks on subject.

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